Accession Number : AD1030374

Title :   Cognitive Targeting: A Coercive Air Power Theory for Conventional Escalation Control Against Nuclear Armed Adversaries

Descriptive Note : Technical Report


Personal Author(s) : Goossen,Paul A

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Jun 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 109

Abstract : With the resurgence of Russia, the rise of China, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons to regional powers such as North Korea, the post-Cold War geo-political environment characterized by U.S. hegemony is fading away. In the emerging, multipolar environment, the likelihood of engaging in an escalating conventional conflict with a nuclear-armed opponent is increasing. The assumptions and theories that guided U.S. military successes in the Cold War, and the post-Cold War era no longer have explanatory power in the emerging environment. This study analyses the applicability of three operational targeting paradigms to coerce a nuclear-armed adversary in a regional crisis, while simultaneously deterring nuclear aggression, thereby de-escalating the conflict. This study uses J. F. C. Fullers three spheres of war to order the principles and elements of war and understand the coercive ability of utility targeting (a capabilities-based targeting paradigm, CBTP), axiological targeting (a will-based targeting paradigm, WBTP), and cognitive targeting (a decision-based targeting paradigm, DBTP). By examining the order of each targeting model, along with its ability to coerce and deter - based on the doctrine and policy of nuclear-armed adversaries - this analysis suggests that cognitive targeting is the only paradigm that can produce positive results in coercing action while deterring nuclear escalation.

Descriptors :   military doctrine , governments , military operations , bombing , warfare , international law , air power , air force , TARGETING , nuclear weapons

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Government and Political Science
      Nuclear Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE